Weekly Roundup: January 12, 2018
There is a never ending onslaught of music coming out. Each Friday sees the release of a slew of new records worth your time and notice. Here are a small fraction, rounded up and reviewed to the best of our ability:
Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown
RIYL: Black Sabbath, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Down
It has been a good long while since COC's arguably most popular lineup has released music. Though the band has been sporadically active over the last decade or so, releasing two records since the (utterly fantastic) In the Arms of God, its been awhile since the popular 90's lineup has been together and active and not spread out between COC and Down. No Cross No Crown, however, makes it feel like no time at all has passed. The record is every bit as heavy and groovy as the southern-tinged heavy-metal greats have ever been, under-sung heroes of the heavy metal world that they are. The record simmers just below some of the band's greatest records--not quite breaking through, while obviously owing a lot to songs they have written previously, but when a band is just THIS good, you know what you want from them and to get it--and get it SO WELL feels just too damn good to bother ones-self about things like "progression" or "evolution." No Cross No Crown is a joyous reunion that feels every bit as good and hits every bit as hard as the band's best stuff.
Side note--if you have not discovered this band yet and are worried, given Dallas Taylor's ongoing health difficulties (please donate here) that we may not get Maylene's V, definitely check this band out.
Anderson East - Encore
RIYL: Chris Stapleton, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Anderson East's music is a god-damned godsend. While I was of the opinion that, much as I adored it, Delilah didnt reach the heights of his Muscle Shoals Sessions, Encore serves as a easy breath of fresh air. It's the kind of music that puts a swing in your hips, a smile on your face, a pep in your step, and feeling like everything is alright alright alriiiiight. The single "Girlfriend" is the only real misstep on the record--a try-too-hard song mixing too many of East's contemporary influences that makes a desperate grasp for contemporary audiences. The man is so much incredibly better than that. And luckily, the rest of the record is there to prove it time and again. Of course I may be biased for any music with those organ tones--you know the ones I mean. Do yourself a favor and check out Encore asap.
Vamachara - Despondent
RIYL: Harms Way, Jesus Piece, Eternal Sleep
Sometimes you want music that is utterly devoid of nuance. And modern hardcore is right there for you. Despondent is some of the heaviest, most brutal, and most energizing tough-guy hardcore in the best Harms Way-aping vein one could hope for. Its 9 tracks of utterly punishing intensity that is so much better than it has any right to be. It has the ability to turn even the most wiry, intellectually-focused, passive weakling into an apelike, cartwheeling, stink-faced, neanderthalic madman. Where Harms Way's Rust I felt pursued some of the band's more industrial influences down the wrong path, Vamachara have brought the tough-guy hardcore aesthetic back to brutal metallic-hardcore roots in a breakdown-heavy beatdown fury.